Are you inconsistent and want to make your goal setting easier? Does this make it difficult for you to feel accomplished in life?
Ninety-two percent of the world around you has the same issue. I know I suffered from the beast as well, until I conjured up the common sense to do some serious research into why I felt this way, and why it was so important to me.
There is nothing more threatening to your life than a missed opportunity (maybe a jungle cat), and when you fail to follow through on a goal you set, you are growing one of the biggest killers of life possible.
- You start to suffer from “what if” syndrome, where you imagine your life had you followed through
- The positive change you decided to make goes undone, and you are left in your present condition (which you are obviously dissatisfied with)
- You forego the opportunity for growth in your life, leaving you stagnant while the rest of the world moves forward into better
Setting Goals is fundamental to human existence. It motivates most of our activities because progress increases our happiness. To be honest with you, progress is the only thing that keeps me alive. So when we set our goals, we had better stick to them, otherwise, the lack of progress may cause us to sink into something depressing.
The opposite of this is a life where you wake up and feel accomplished, and feeling accomplished is essential to living a decent life.
- It fuels positive emotions which aid in handling all the curveballs life throws at you
- Leads to strong mental space, better psychological well-being, and momentum
- Increases overall life satisfaction.
So what does feeling accomplished mean?
First! It means you have the knowledge to understand what you truly want in life. If HUGE accomplishments aren’t your thing then do small ones. Personally, I don’t think that way. All dreams are big, whether you want to change one person’s life, a billion, or simply your own, but that’s just me.
Second! It means you take responsibility for your desires and understand that nobody is going to accomplish them for you. The lottery of life does not exist, and you have no genie in the lamp. You need to change you, yourself.
Third! You are responsible enough set goals, stick with them, and accomplish them. You knock them out like dominoes and go on a rampage through your life. Your weapons are confidence and fulfillment.
When you set up blocks to knock down, you understand yourself to be a powerful being. The alternative to accomplishing your desired changes is living a life where even something like walking a bit each day can defeat you.
Think about the toll this takes on your self-esteem. We MUST see ourselves as being powerful enough to take control over our lives. What can we do in the world for anyone else if not?
That’s all great, but in order to even start, you will need techniques that actually work. Since none of us majored in goal setting, I did the research and figured it out. You’re welcome.
Internalize The Goal
When you internalize something, you make it your own. In order to accomplish anything you need motivation, and motivation comes from believing it to be good and valuable.
The opposite is doing something because others want you to, because TV wants you to, because your ego wants you to, but if you don’t really believe in it, your heart won’t be there, and nothing great is ever done(even small things done great), without heart.
Imagine for a moment that you are trying to lose weight. Are you trying to lose weight because Linda next door looks like a supermodel, and you want your husband to notice you instead?
- This is ego, you have an abnormal fear relative to another person and are just trying to “keep up”
- You do not identify. You know that you don’t care to look like a supermodel. That’s pressure from an external source manipulating you.
Both of these mean NO MOTIVATION and not accomplishing your goals.
Now if looking like a supermodel did mean something to you, everything would work out fine, because that is something you think is important, but if you’re just trying to keep up with Linda, you’re going to have trouble.
Try instead seeing things this way:
- My husband and I used to do so many activities together, and because of my health we no longer do
- I want to live a long life and enjoy boundless energy with those I love
- I don’t need to look like a supermodel but I think feeling comfortable in your own skin is important, and I don’t right now
See the difference? These goals are not about others, they are about you and what’s important to you. If it’s not important to your life, you won’t do it, period.
Instead of making changes in your life because “that’s what people do”, to prove something to someone else (or some other flimsy reason), make sure your goal lines up with a core principle you have.
Core principles are: what we truly desire and believe to be true/important for ourselves, our environment and others.
Write them down
In a study done by Dr. Gale Mathews students were sorted into groups and expected to behave relative to expectations of that group.
The groups were sorted into categories of either Accountability to a goal, commitment to a goal, or writing the goal down.
Out of every ten students who DID NOT write their goals down, only three followed through with those goals.
Students who were asked to write down their goals and do minor contemplation about those goals saw results that jumped to nearly half the students accomplishing what they set out to.
When another group wrote the goals down, thought about them, and also jotted down what actions they would need to take in order to accomplish them, that number jumps to more than 6 out of ten students finishing strong.
Matthews also had other groups, who wrote down their goals, thought about them and engaged in further action to increase the likelihood of finishing what they started.
Tell someone Who Will Hold You Accountable
There are many upsides to this one because when you tell someone something you are more likely to do it.
When you tell a friend, or someone that you know won’t let you slide, that you are setting out to accomplish something and want them to hold you accountable for it, your likelihood of achieving your goal jumps from 35 percent to 70 percent.
The fifth group of students studied by Dr. Mathews did the following:
- Everything from the previous four groups (set goal, write them down, think about them, jot down actions that need to be taken, tell a friend)
- Corresponded weekly with this “accountability partner” about their progress
In this group, we jump to nearly 8 out of ten students sticking with their goals until done or almost done.
What does this mean for me and my goals?
It means that achieving goals is only easy for others because they have certain behaviors that make it easy, not because they are better or superhuman. Adopting these behaviors will see you flying through your goals and setting new ones in no time.
In fact, your progress and everything that comes with it (big or small) can easily go from seemingly impossible to very likely with the above techniques.
If You’re Serious, Get Crazy With It
Treat your accountability partner like they are a pawnshop. Give them something valuable of yours and tell them not to give it back to you until you have completed your goal.
Tell me this won’t work!
If you take a thousand dollars and give it to your father, and tell him to pay it back to you a hundred each for ten steps in your goal, you will accomplish that goal. PROMISE!
- We must set goals and knock them out for our psychological well-being and confidence in ourselves. It is essential. Nobody is born perfect, and progress is key to happiness.
- Internalize the goals and make sure they line up with your core values. Make them meaningful for you, and nobody else. Otherwise, you won’t do them.
- Write your goals down. Being organized is a product of conscientiousness, which is a quality necessary for success in anything. You are more likely to stick with your goals when you organize them on paper.
- Tell a friend what you are doing and ask them to hold you seriously accountable. Make sure you trust this person to scold you if you don’t complete what you set out to.
- Take it a step further and send that friend a weekly progress report. You will make sure you have something to send them and it will be like having a spotter at the gym.
- Burn your bridges. Get crazy and creative. Using the money example above may be scary, but it will work. If you put yourself in a position where you’re screwed if you don’t accomplish your goals, you will accomplish them with ease. Beg, borrow or steal, however it gets done.
- Remember, goal setting is vital to feeling accomplished, and feeling accomplished is necessary for self-worth and a healthy life.